Yoko Ono is a Japanese artist and peace activist involved in avant-garde art, music, filmmaking, and philanthropy. She is widely known for her marriage to John Lennon and though a convenient scapegoat for the Beatles’ breakup at the time, an alternative view of Ono as a strong uncompromising artist has emerged.
During her early days in New York, she staged music, poetry, and other artistic performances in her loft space with her then-husband, Toshi Ichiyanagi. After a period of time away from New York, she returned with the help of her second husband Anthony Cox in 1964. Ono returned to art and gained recognition from the avant-garde community.
During this time Ono met Lennon at her exhibition in London. Their first musical collaboration was the experimental Unfinished Music, No. 1: Two Virgins. They were married on March 20,1969. Unfinished Music, No. 2: Life with the Lions was characterized by Ono’s wailing vocals, followed by The Wedding Album.
Lennon and Ono focused on peace activism and released albums with the Plastic Ono Band in 1970. In 1971 Ono released a double-LP, Fly. The next year, Ono and Lennon released the album Sometime in New York City. Her next two albums saw less involvement from Lennon and were perhaps two of her stronger solo statements, Feeling the Space and Approximately Infinite Universe.
During a brief split from Lennon, Ono recorded another album, A Story, which was shelved and finally released in 1997. In 1975, Sean Taro Ono Lennon was born and Lennon cared for him during the next several years. His comeback album, Double Fantasy, featured some songs from Ono as well. On December 8, 1980, Lennon was assassinated outside their New York home.
Ono released Season of Glass the following year, It’s Alright (I See Rainbows) in 1982, and Starpeace in 1985. Her 1995 album Rising featured her son Sean. The same year, her musical play New York Rock debuted off-Broadway. She released Blueprint for a Sunrise in 2001 and Yes, I’m a Witch in 2007, collaborating with artists like the Flaming Lips, Cat Power, and Jason Pierce. In 2009, Ono re-formed the Plastic Ono Band with Sean, releasing the album Between My Head and the Sky.